trans neptunian objects

Eris the 10th Planet thru the Houses, Where in Life Do You Feel “Left Out”?

Discovered in 2005, from plates found in 2003, Eris is a Trans-Neptunian Object, which is an astronomical term meaning further out than Neptune. She was named a dwarf planet along with Pluto. She was Planet X, then nicknamed Xena, then officially named after the brother of Ares/Mars, the goddess of discord.

Eris entered Aries in 1923 and will not enter Taurus until 2048, so almost everyone alive right now has Eris in Aries, therefore making the house of Eris more personal to you. It takes 556 years for Eris to orbit the sun.

“Eris is one who struggles against injustice and oppression. She has her war-like and even bloodthirsty side, with the higher manifestation of defending the weak and standing up for oneself. Her placement and aspects to other planets correlate to the archetype of the underdog warrior, speaking truth to power, and with also a willingness to resort to violence if necessary. Many manifestations of this archetype exist in the present culture, and the discovery period is also coincident with the onset of the Iraq war. This archetype represents a dire motif of the struggle for survival that is inherent in the natural world, and in humankind also, and which represents once again, as with Pluto and Chiron, a darker side of our common humanity that must be acknowledged and faced in our time. Where she located in your chart, you have the capability to make a powerful and perhaps ruthless stand for yourself, and to battle against all odds.” –Time Passages Software

Eris in the 1st house: Your presence is so radical that you don’t fit in with most people. You boldly state your opinions and you might even get a thrill from causing trouble between people. You are a brave fighter full of strength. You thrive on conflict as it propels you to feel alive. You prefer revolution over tradition. You crave discord and excitement as opposed to trying to find peace in life. You feel doldrums when life is too calm, you always feel the need to take on challenges.

Eris in the 2nd house: You resist the current system of economy and want to rebel against being dependent on money, you’re the person who is cut out for growing their own food and/or living off the grid. You feel a drive in your soul to not be materially attached, even if you might have other factors in your chart that indicate a tendency to splurge on possessions. You value sticking up for the underdog, fighting injustice, and living passionately.

Eris in the 3rd house: The school system made you feel boxed in; your learning style might not grasp academic lessons, but is able to absorb information when you are allowed to learn on your own. You didn’t get all the attention from teachers that would have helped you excel in the classroom, so rather, you reject commands of busy work assignments and find brilliance by doing projects your own way. You may have been made to feel dumb because you could not meet standards that other students could, yet the chaos in your mind brings ideas together when you are given freedom to learn at your own pace.

Eris in the 4th house: Your family made you feel like the odd one out, they did not sympathize with you during hard times. You had to break away from traditions and find yourself. The universe gives you permission to shamelessly reject what your parents taught you, as they may not have had the most well rounded perspective when they raised you. They likely treated you with injustice and made you feel oppressed.

Eris in the 5th house: Your idea of fun is different than those around you, so it may have been difficult to find comradery (feeling of a connected community) until you found a group of people with a common interest. Your hobbies are seen as strange, compared to typical activities that most people enjoy. Your children may have a discordant temperament. Your romantic life is filled with chaos.

Eris in the 6th house: You don’t fit in at most workplaces, you resist being subordinate to a boss. You feel oppressed by the daily grind and wish to find a more exciting job. You’d do well in an action packed vocation that allows you to be a maverick. You feel like you weren’t given a fair shot in the workforce and may excel more if you become self-employed. Your health will decline when you act discordant.

Eris in the 7th house: Relationships always seem to end up in flames in your life, which includes business partnerships, lovers, close friends, etc. You wonder why can’t I just find that special someone and make it last? You attract discordant people. Perhaps you haven’t worked through all the chaos within you and so you project others as being difficult. If you make a point to cultivate inner peace while acknowledging your own inner wild self, you will draw in the right people who do not provoke you too much.

Eris in the 8th house: Deep in your soul lies discordance that you need to embrace and understand. You desire a crazy sex life to let out inhibitions your chaotic emotions that you don’t get to release in other areas in life.

Eris in the 9th house: You feel that religion has oppressed you, you do not resonate with the faith you were raised with and it is up to you to explore spirituality in many forms to find your own truths. Traveling alone would be very therapeutic to you. You love the idea of higher learning, but the structure of college doesn’t agree with you. You experience injustice in the college setting.

Eris in the 10th house: Your discordant nature makes it difficult to achieve your career goals. You’d excel in a career that involves helping others who have been left out, for example, special education, infertility, adoption agencies, counseling, addiction, women’s or men’s rights advocacy, etc. You are resistant to bosses that expect you to be subordinate, you have to fight to achieve the goals and jobs that suit you.

Eris in the 11th house: No matter how many friends you have, you still feel like they don’t include you in their lives as much as you’d like. You feel like a lone wolf, you don’t fully fit in with most groups. If you find friends who appreciate your uniqueness, you’ll feel fulfilled. Make it a point to seek non-judgmental, open, and understanding people, and you can allow yourself to grow close to people who matter. You can heal from any previous friends who betrayed you or any times you felt like you had no one to reach out to.

Eris in the 12th house: You subconsciously want to be alone in order to dig deep into your spiritual self. You have sabotaged relationships and opportunities because you hadn’t worked thru your inner baggage. Your soul has likely existed on other planets as you feel estranged from this world in general. You can journey through other dimensions because your chaotic spirit endlessly searches for more. You are fighting a battle in your psyche, as Eris triggered the Trojan war. Your chaotic nature has been suppressed, as you realize that too many people in this world cannot handle you.

If you would like me to look at your entire chart and how Eris makes aspects to your birth planets, I offer natal chart readings, among many other services that you can check out at AcaiPsycheLife.tumblr.com/readings

Eris, the largest of the dwarf planets and its moon Dysnomia.

Some Cool Facts About Dwarf Planets and Centaurs!

There’s a lot of talk about Pluto at the moment on tumblr. A recent debate on whether or not it should be classified as a planet was held and afterwards the audience voted in agreement with the view that it should be. This, however, was just an opinion poll and has no effect on Pluto’s official classification. Here are some facts about dwarf planets which will, hopefully, help you to understand why the IAU won’t be reclassifying Pluto as a planet any time soon.

Pluto is not the only dwarf planet! There are something like two hundred possible dwarf planets in our solar system and Pluto isn’t even the biggest one. That’s Eris, pictured above with its moon Dysnomia. Eris is larger that Pluto and therefore if Pluto is to be considered a planet then Eris should logically also be a planet. However, I’ve yet to see a single tumblr post complaining about Eris’ classification as a dwarf planet. Like Eris, many confirmed and possible dwarf planets have their own moons. Pluto has five moons, the largest of which is named Charon. Here’s a picture of Pluto alongside Charon:

Pluto’s other four moons are much smaller and are named Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx. Pluto also has what is called a quasi-satellite, (15810) 1994 JR1. It has been a quasi-satellite of Pluto for roughly 100,000 years and is likely to remain so for another 250,000 years.

The vast majority of confirmed and possible dwarf planets don’t have official names yet.

This is 2007 OR10

It’s the largest object in the Solar System that doesn’t have an official name yet, but its nickname is “Snow White.”

2007 OR10 is the fourth biggest dwarf planet in the Solar System, being 136km smaller in diameter than the third largest dwarf planet, Makemake. Makemake is notable for having no moons.

Next up is Haumea, which is unique amongst the dwarf planets for having an unusual ellipsoid shape, as seen in this artist’s conception:

Also pictured are Haumea’s two moons, Hiʻiaka and Namaka.

Next come Quaoar, named after the Tongva creator god, and its moon Weyot. Sedna, which takes roughly 11,400 years to orbit the Sun and will be at its closest to the Sun in 2075. And Orcus, which unlike Sedna is accompanied on its journey around the Sun by its moon, Vanth.

Next up is Ceres, which is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, unlike the rest of the dwarf planets Ceres is not a trans-neptunian object but instead is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This means that rather than being a distant object orbiting in the vast coldness at the edge of the Solar System, Ceres instead exists on the fringes of the Sun’s habitable zone. This is made doubly significant because although not as actively discussed as a potential home for extraterrestrial life as Mars or Europa, the presence of water ice has led to speculation that life may exist there, and that hypothesized ejecta could have come from Ceres to Earth.

Of the many other dwarf planets, the ones that currently have official names include Salacia with its moon Actaea, Varuna, Varda and its moon Ilmarë (Tolkien fans should recognise those names), Ixion, Chaos and finally Huya with its as yet unnamed moon.

However, that’s only the start of the interesting story of planetary objects in our Solar Sytem. As well as dwarf planets our Solar System is also home to a number of minor planets known as centaurs. Centaurs are small Solar System bodies with a semi-major axis between those of the outer planets. They have unstable orbits that cross or have crossed the orbits of one or more of the giant planets, and have dynamic lifetimes of a few million years. The centaurs all orbit the Sun in various positions between Jupiter and Neptune.

Known centaurs include Amycus, Bienor, Hylonome, Chariklo, Asbolus, Nessus, Pholus, Chiron and Hidalgo.

So, please, before you write yet another post about why Pluto should be a planet, consider instead the wonders of the many planetary objects within our solar system and Pluto’s place within them. Yes, Pluto is really cool, but so are Eris and Sedna and Ceres and all these other dwarf planets and centaurs and their many moons!

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Really Know Astrology?

Comment how many points you got!

This quiz is not meant to one-up anyone or be elitist, I welcome all skill levels, but I do believe that you have to reach a certain level of knowledge in order to call yourself an “Astrologer”.

1. True or False: Sun signs begin and end on the same days every year.       (3 points) ~*~If you answered True, name those days.

~*~If you answered false, explain how to determine that beginning of a sign.

2. Name what planet each sign is ruled by. (5 points)

3. You know what every planet stands for. (5 points)

4. Name the planets that ruled signs before Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered. (3points)

5. True or False: Pluto is still revered as a planet among astrologers. (1 point) And why?

6. Some astrologers’ believe that the asteroid belt should rule which sign?   And why? (3 points)

7. Two Points for every Trans-Neptunian-Object you can name.

8. Name four asteroids and what they stand for (5points)

9. True or False: Black Moon Lilith is an asteroid? (3points)

10. One point for every extra asteroid you can name and what they mean.

11. Name all five major aspects. (5 points)

12. What is an “orb” (3 points)

13. What is a quincunx/inconjunct and how can we interpret it? Does it require a smaller orb than the major aspects? (5 points)

14. 5 Points Each for being able to identify these minor aspects and what they mean: Sesquequadrate, Sesquesquare, Quintile, Quindecile, Semisquare, Semi-sextile, Bi-Quintile.

15. What is a midpoint and how can it be used? (5 points)

16. Define these terms: (5 points each, guesses don’t count, only answer if you KNOW the subject)

Composite Chart

Secondary Progressions

Cosmobiology

Declinations

Financial Astrology and Astro Economics

Harmonics

Heliocentric Astrology

Horary

Meteorological Astrology

Mundane Astrology

Rectification

Astro*Carto*Graphy

~~*~~In my humble opinion, one must have over 35 points from the questions above in order to rightfully call themselves an “Astrologer”.

Bonus points:

17. You’ve attended at least one major conference (10 points)

18. You’re a member of a guild/school/organization (10 points)

Correct Answers:

1. False

5. True

9. False

If you scored more than 50 points, you’re qualified to charge good money for your readings! Message me so we can team up and do projects together! I’d love to hear your insights!

If you could define every single term, I’m IMPRESSED! You might actually know more than me!

I LOVE teaching if you want to learn more about any of these questions asked, MESSAGE ME.

For the last time, we didn’t lose a planet when Pluto was recategorised. That was just bad reporting.

The same reshuffling of astronomical nomenclature that reclassified Pluto as a “dwarf planet” also promoted two other bodies, the asteroid Ceres and the trans-Neptunian object Eris, to that status. Two other bodies, Makemake and Haumea, were later accepted as dwarf planets, bringing the total to five, and four other bodies - Orcus, Quaoar, Salacia and Sedna - are currently under consideration for reclassification as dwarf planets as well.

In other words, what really happened is that we gained a whole pack of annoying little chibi-planets. How awesome is that?

(Heck, if all of the current suspected dwarf planets pan out, the little bastards will soon outnumber the true planets. Why does nobody ever draw that?)

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Could the Solar System Now Have 10 Planets?

A study just published from Spain suggests that our solar system may in fact have two as-yet-undiscovered planets orbiting beyond Pluto.

How did they conclude this? From what we know of orbital mechanics, the 13 trans-Neptunian objects they studied should be orbiting around 150 times farther from the Sun than Earth (150 ‘AU’) with very little orbital inclination to the plane of the solar system.

This is not the case.

What could cause this? The gravitational disturbances of two planets orbiting far out there in the darkness - two planets more massive than Earth.

The paper is currently being peer reviewed and could lead to some very exciting new research and missions.

(Image credit: NASA)

Scientists have discovered a mysterious object beyond Neptune

There’s a strange object floating around the outer edge of our solar system, and it’s breaking all kinds of rules. Scientists have nicknamed it Niku, after the Chinese adjective for rebellious. Niku isa trans-Neptunian object, which are small rocky bodies that orbit out beyond Neptune. This TNO doesn’t act like the thousands of others in our solar system though.

For starters, Niku is orbiting the sun on a different plane than the planets and other TNOs. Its path is tilted about 110 degrees from the disc that the planets orbit on. It’s also got a a retrograde orbit.

follow @the-future-now

2

New Distant Dwarf Planet Beyond Neptune.

An international team of astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune. The new object is roughly 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. Designated 2015 RR245 by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, it was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS).

“The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how the giant planets formed and then moved out from the Sun. They let us piece together the history of our Solar System. But almost all of these icy worlds are painfully small and faint: it’s really exciting to find one that’s large and bright enough that we can study it in detail.” said Dr Michele Bannister of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, who is a postdoctoral fellow with the Survey.

National Research Council of Canada’s Dr JJ Kavelaars first sighted RR245 in February 2016 in the OSSOS images from September 2015.“There it was on the screen— this dot of light moving so slowly that it had to be at least twice as far as Neptune from the Sun.” said Bannister.

The team became even more excited when they realized that the object’s orbit takes it more than 120 times further from the Sun than Earth. The size of RR245 is not yet exactly known, as its surface properties need further measurement. "It’s either small and shiny, or large and dull.” said Bannister.

The vast majority of the dwarf planets like RR245 were destroyed or thrown from the Solar System in the chaos that ensued as the giant planets moved out to their present positions: RR245 is one of the few dwarf planets that has survived to the present day — along with Pluto and Eris, the largest known dwarf planets. RR245 now circles the Sun among the remnant population of tens of thousands of much smaller trans-Neptunian worlds, most of which orbit’s is unseen.

Worlds that journey far from the Sun have exotic geology with landscapes made of many different frozen materials, as the recent flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft showed.

After hundreds of years further than 12 billion km (80 astronomical units, AU) from the Sun, RR245 is travelling towards its closest approach at 5 billion km (34 AU), which it will reach around 2096. RR245 has been on its highly elliptical orbit for at least the last 100 million years.

As RR245 has only been observed for one of the seven hundred years it takes to orbit the Sun, where it came from and how its orbit will slowly evolve in the far future is still unknown; its precise orbit will be refined over the coming years, after which RR245 will be given a name. As discoverers, the OSSOS team can submit their preferred name for RR245 to the International Astronomical Union for consideration.

“OSSOS was designed to map the orbital structure of the outer Solar System to decipher its history.” said Prof. Brett Gladman of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “While not designed to efficiently detect dwarf planets, we’re delighted to have found one on such an interesting orbit”.

RR245 is the largest discovery and the only dwarf planet found by OSSOS, which has discovered more than five hundred new trans-Neptunian objects. “OSSOS is only possible due to the exceptional observing capabilities of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. CFHT is located at one of the best optical observing locations on Earth, is equipped with an enormous wide-field imager, and can quickly adapt its observing each night to new discoveries we make. This facility is truly world leading.” said Gladman.

Previous surveys have mapped almost all the brighter dwarf planets. 2015 RR245 may be one of the last large worlds beyond Neptune to be found until larger telescopes, such as LSST, come online in the mid 2020s.

OSSOS involves a collaboration of fifty scientists at institutes and universities from around the world.

OSSOS is based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and CEA/DAPNIA, and on data produced and hosted at the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre. CFHT is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institute National des Sciences de l'Universe of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii, with OSSOS receiving additional access due to contributions from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

Sedna is another of the solar system’s trans-neptunian objects.  It is noteworthy in particular for its highly elongated elliptical orbit, which ranges from 76 AU (1 astronomical unit = Earth’s orbit radius) at closest approach, to 937 AU at its farthest point from the sun.  This is highly unusual for a dwarf planet-sized body, having much more in common with the long period comets, which suggests that perhaps it originated from the Oort Cloud on the edge of the solar system, rather than in the Kuiper Belt region, as with most of these objects.

Also interestingly, it is one of the reddest objects in the solar system, even more so than Makemake, and is composed primarily out of various ices, the red coloring believed to be caused by a top layer of hydrocarbon particles.  It has no moons discovered yet and is large enough that it is being considered a strong candidate for being added to the list of official Dwarf Planets.  It is believed that once scientists prove it to be in hydrostatic equilibrium, it will be likely added to the list.

Herschel’s population of trans-Neptunian objects

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has observed 132 of the known 1400 cold worlds that inhabit a region of the Solar System beyond the orbit of Neptune, some 4.5–7.5 billion km from the Sun.

These ‘trans-Neptunian objects’, or TNOs, include worlds such as Pluto, Eris, Haumea and Makemake, and make up a vast population of such objects thought to occupy these far-flung reaches of the Solar System.

TNOs are particularly cold, at around –230ºC, but these low temperatures lend themselves to observations by Herschel, which observes at far-infrared to sub-millimetre wavelengths. Indeed, the space observatory observed the thermal emission from 132 such objects during its nearly four-year lifetime.

These measurements provided their sizes and albedos (the fraction of visible light reflected from the surface), properties that are not otherwise easily accessible. The graphic presented here shows a sample of the population of TNOs observed with Herschel, arranged to showcase these properties.

What is most striking is their diversity. They range from just below 50 km to almost 2400 km in diameter; Pluto and Eris are the largest. Two worlds have distinctly elongated shapes: Haumea (seen in white) and Varuna (brown). Some even host their own moons (not shown).
The albedo measurement implies a variety of surface compositions: low albedo (brown) is an indication of dark surface materials, such as organic material, while higher albedo (white) suggests pure ices.

TNOs are thought to be some of the most primitive remnants of the planet-forming era. Thus the results of the Herschel “TNOs are cool: A survey of the trans-Neptunian region” open key time programme are being used to test different models of Solar System formation and evolution.

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE; acknowledgements: M. Rengel and P. Lacerda (Max-Plack-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung, Germany), T. Müller (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik) and the Herschel “TNOs are Cool” Team.

2

HUNT FOR NINTH PLANET REVEALS NEW EXTREMELY DISTANT SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS

In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our solar system, Carnegie’s Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of Northern Arizona University have observed several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun in our solar system. Sheppard and Trujillo have now submitted their latest discoveries to the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center for official designations. A paper about the discoveries has also been accepted to The Astronomical Journal.

The more objects that are found at extreme distances, the better the chance of constraining the location of the ninth planet that Sheppard and Trujillo first predicted to exist far beyond Pluto (itself no longer classified as a planet) in 2014. The placement and orbits of small, so-called extreme trans-Neptunian objects, can help narrow down the size and distance from the Sun of the predicted ninth planet, because that planet’s gravity influences the movements of the smaller objects that are far beyond Neptune. The objects are called trans-Neptunian because their orbits around the Sun are greater than Neptune’s.

In 2014, Sheppard and Trujillo announced the discovery of 2012 VP113 (nicknamed “Biden”), which has the most-distant known orbit in our solar system. At this time, Sheppard and Trujillo also noticed that the handful of known extreme trans-Neptunian objects all cluster with similar orbital angles. This lead them to predict that there is a planet at more than 200 times our distance from the Sun. Its mass, ranging in possibility from several Earths to a Neptune equivalent, is shepherding these smaller objects into similar types of orbits.

Some have called this Planet X or Planet 9. Further work since 2014 showed that this massive ninth planet likely exists by further constraining its possible properties. Analysis of “neighboring” small body orbits suggest that it is several times more massive than the Earth, possibly as much as 15 times more so, and at the closest point of its extremely stretched, oblong orbit it is at least 200 times farther away from the Sun than Earth. (This is over 5 times more distant than Pluto.)

“Objects found far beyond Neptune hold the key to unlocking our solar system’s origins and evolution,” Sheppard explained. “Though we believe there are thousands of these small objects, we haven’t found very many of them yet, because they are so far away. The smaller objects can lead us to the much bigger planet we think exists out there. The more we discover, the better we will be able to understand what is going on in the outer solar system.”

Sheppard and Trujillo, along with David Tholen of the University of Hawaii, are conducting the largest, deepest survey for objects beyond Neptune and the Kuiper Belt and have covered nearly 10 percent of the sky to date using some of the largest and most advanced telescopes and cameras in the world, such as the Dark Energy Camera on the NOAO 4-meter Blanco telescope in Chile and the Japanese Hyper Suprime Camera on the 8-meter Subaru telescope in Hawaii. As they find and confirm extremely distant objects, they analyze whether their discoveries fit into the larger theories about how interactions with a massive distant planet could have shaped the outer solar system.

“Right now we are dealing with very low-number statistics, so we don’t really understand what is happening in the outer solar system,” Sheppard said. “Greater numbers of extreme trans-Neptunian objects must be found to fully determine the structure of our outer solar system.”

According to Sheppard, “we are now in a similar situation as in the mid-19th century when Alexis Bouvard noticed Uranus’ orbital motion was peculiar, which eventually led to the discovery of Neptune.”

The new objects they have submitted to the Minor Planet Center for designation include 2014 SR349 [http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K16/K16Q41.html], which adds to the class of the rare extreme trans-Neptunian objects. It exhibits similar orbital characteristics to the previously known extreme bodies whose positions and movements led Sheppard and Trujillo to initially propose the influence of Planet X.

Another new extreme object they found, 2013 FT28 [http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K16/K16Q39.html], has some characteristics similar to the other extreme objects but also some differences. The orbit of an object is defined by six parameters. The clustering of several of these parameters is the main argument for a ninth planet to exist in the outer solar system. 2013 FT28 shows similar clustering in some of these parameters (its semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination, and argument of perihelion angle, for angle enthusiasts out there) but one of these parameters, an angle called the longitude of perihelion, is different from that of the other extreme objects, which makes that particular clustering trend less strong.

Another discovery, 2014 FE72 [http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K16/K16Q43.html], is the first distant Oort Cloud object found with an orbit entirely beyond Neptune. It has an orbit that takes the object so far away from the Sun (some 3,000 times farther than Earth) that it is likely being influenced by forces of gravity from beyond our solar system such as other stars and the galactic tide. It is the first object observed at such a large distance.

TOP IMAGE….An illustration of the orbits of the new and previously known extremely distant Solar System objects. The clustering of most of their orbits indicates that they are likely be influenced by something massive and very distant, the proposed Planet X. Image is courtesy of Robin Dienel.

LOWER IMAGE….An artist’s conception of Planet X, courtesy of Robin Dienel.

YES, PLUTO IS STILL A PLANET!  OK, DWARF PLANET…

Here is what you need to know about the (dwarf) planet Pluto, discovered on this day (February 4) 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh…

  1. It is really far far away.  The average distance between the Sun and Pluto is 7311000000 km, or around 50 times farther away from the Sun than the Earth is.  
  2. It has an eliptical orbit.  When scientists ‘de-listed’ Pluto as a planet in 2006, one of their considerations was its orbit-and how clean the orbit is. You can see its compared to Jupiter and Neptune below.  
  3. It is small.  How small?  The moon is bigger than Pluto.  The 'tenth’ planet, Eris, is actually bigger than Pluto, though still smaller than the moon.  Pluto is small.  
  4. Pluto has many neighbors.  As in hundreds of thousands of neighbors.  Which is why Pluto fails the 'planet’ test.  It hasn’t cleared its orbit.
  5. Pluto is round, which means it has the mass and gravity to pull itself into planet shape.
  6. Tiny little Pluto has five even tinier moons:  Charon, Kerberus, Nix, Hydra, and Styx.  Named after the river, not the band.
  7. Pluto was named by an 11 year old girl in England after an international call for names.  Venetia Burney named Pluto!
  8. Pluto will soon have its first visitor, as NASA sent a probe there to arrive this summer.  Stay tuned!

See that photo up there?  Those are the best photos NASA has managed to get of Pluto using the Hubble telescope.  Because Pluto is so small and so far away!  

So, is Pluto still a planet?  Yes.  It is also known as a plutoid, a plutino, a Trans-Neptunian Object and a Kuiper Belt Object.  Personally, I’ll take dwarf planet anyday over Kuiper Belt Object!

2

NEW DISTANT DWARF PLANET BEYOND NEPTUNE

An international team of astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune. The new object is roughly 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. Designated 2015 RR245 by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, it was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer solar system Origins Survey (OSSOS).

“The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how the giant planets formed and then moved out from the Sun. They let us piece together the history of our solar system. But almost all of these icy worlds are painfully small and faint: it’s really exciting to find one that’s large and bright enough that we can study it in detail,” said Dr. Michele Bannister of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, who is a postdoctoral fellow with the survey.

National Research Council of Canada’s Dr. JJ Kavelaars first sighted RR245 in February 2016 in the OSSOS images from September 2015. “There it was on the screen – this dot of light moving so slowly that it had to be at least twice as far as Neptune from the Sun,” said Bannister.

The team became even more excited when they realized that the object’s orbit takes it more than 120 times further from the Sun than Earth. The size of RR245 is not yet exactly known, as its surface properties need further measurement. “It’s either small and shiny, or large and dull,” said Bannister.

The vast majority of the dwarf planets like RR245 were destroyed or thrown from the solar system in the chaos that ensued as the giant planets moved out to their present positions: RR245 is one of the few dwarf planets that has survived to the present day — along with Pluto and Eris, the largest known dwarf planets. RR245 now circles the Sun among the remnant population of tens of thousands of much smaller trans-Neptunian worlds, most of which orbit unseen.

Worlds that journey far from the Sun have exotic geology with landscapes made of many different frozen materials, as the recent flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft showed.

After hundreds of years further than 12 billion km (80 astronomical units, AU) from the Sun, RR245 is travelling towards its closest approach at 5 billion km (34 AU), which it will reach around 2096. RR245 has been on its highly elliptical orbit for at least the last 100 million years.

As RR245 has only been observed for one of the seven hundred years it takes to orbit the Sun, where it came from and how its orbit will slowly evolve in the far future is still unknown; its precise orbit will be refined over the coming years, after which RR245 will be given a name. As discoverers, the OSSOS team can submit their preferred name for RR245 to the International Astronomical Union for consideration.

“OSSOS was designed to map the orbital structure of the outer solar system to decipher its history,” said Prof. Brett Gladman of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “While not designed to efficiently detect dwarf planets, we’re delighted to have found one on such an interesting orbit.”

RR245 is the largest discovery and the only dwarf planet found by OSSOS, which has discovered more than five hundred new trans-Neptunian objects. “OSSOS is only possible due to the exceptional observing capabilities of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. CFHT is located at one of the best optical observing locations on Earth, is equipped with an enormous wide-field imager, and can quickly adapt its observing each night to new discoveries we make. This facility is truly world leading,” said Gladman.

Previous surveys have mapped almost all the brighter dwarf planets. 2015 RR245 may be one of the last large worlds beyond Neptune to be found until larger telescopes, such as LSST, come online in the mid 2020s.

TOP IMAGE….Rendering of the orbit of RR245 (orange line). Objects as bright or brighter than RR245 are labeled. The Minor Planet Center describes the object as the 18th largest in the Kuiper Belt. Credit: Alex Parker OSSOS team

LOWER IMAGE….Discovery images of RR245. The images show RR245’s slow motion across the sky over three hours (.gif file). Credit OSSOS team.

anonymous asked:

I just found this blog and I love it so much but I'm curious as to why you don't think Pluto is a planet. Care to elaborate? Thanks!

It doesn’t matter if I don’t think Pluto is a planet, what people think has no effect on what is true. 

The IAU (International Astronomical Union) is the scientific body which has the official authority of classification. 

From the official IAU publication defining the word “Planet” 

“The dwarf planet Pluto is recognised as an important prototype of a new class of Trans-Neptunian Objects. The IAU has put given a new denomination for these objects: plutoids.” 

Pluto is not a planet. It is not a dwarf planet. It’s a plutoid. (Personally I think that name is awesome and I’m jealous that the scientific community does not classify me a plutoid.)

anonymous asked:

hahaha about the pluto thing, i took an astronomy class this semester and learned about the three criterion for something being considered a planet and if we considered pluto a planet we'd have to consider like 5 more plutoids planets as well which would be even more annoying, and ever since then i've been getting really annoyed whenever i see shit like "i want pluto to still be a planet", lmao.

That’s how I feel too! Usually if I hear something like that I try to whip out this graphic: 

And if I have time, I read them a few facts from this post. If more people knew more about the demotion, and about Trans-Neptunian Objects in general, I think the salt would be replaced with excitement!

Rant A: Pluto

Pluto. Is. Not. A. Planet. It never should have been. Look at all the planets and they all have the same qualities…. then look at Pluto, it’s not the same.

The I.A.U. (International Astronomical Union) got together in 2006 to define what makes a planet a planet. They had 3 rules:

  1. is in orbit around the Sun,
  2. has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium (a nearly round shape), and
  3. has “cleared the neighbourhood” around its orbit.

Pluto is obviously in orbit around the sun, duh. Pluto is round or spherical so it passes number 2, objects that wouldn’t pass that would be asteroids and such. But Pluto has not cleared it’s neighbourhood.

To ‘clear the neighbourhood’ means to be the dominant object in your orbital path, so no one else has a close enough mass to you. And Pluto has many objects and other dwarf planets in it’s vicinity to be considered a dwarf planet. People try to argue that Earth, and Jupiter and Neptune also do not pass the third rule but, Earth’s mass is greater than all NEA (Near-Earth Asteroids)’s combined, Jupiter is much bigger than all of the Trojan Asteroids in it’s orbital path, and Neptune, though it is close to Pluto, Pluto dwarfs Neptune so Neptune is superior.  Pluto does not contain enough mass to clear the neighbourhood, or in other terms there are too many objects in it’s orbital plane to allow Pluto to clear the neighbourhood.

Another thing in my opinion of why Pluto should not be a planet is the fact that Pluto and it’s largest moon, Charon, and most likely all of Pluto’s other moons rotate around an odd point. Most moons will orbit the planet at it’s center of mass, which orbits the sun, but Pluto and it’s moons orbit a point in interstellar space (a big no-no for planets) and essentially that means Pluto slightly orbits the moons.

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^The point in the center of that red circle is the point they rotate around and clearly show how messed up Pluto’s orbital system is.

My final point relies on the fact that the 4 Terrestrial Planets and the 4 Jovian Planets all orbit the sun in a pocket of give or take 10 degrees of the Ecliptic, Pluto is more like 30+ degrees off:

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And another thing, the fact that Pluto has moons does not make it a Planet, there are some asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects that have moons rotating around them, that does not make them Planets.

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^243 Ida (asteroid) and It’s moon/satellite Dactyl.

Also the farther away from the Sun you get the less influence it’s gravity has on the Planet, so a Planet far away from the sun will have an easier job maintaining a moon if the Planet is small, than if it were closer.  Also because of How close it is to the huge Jovian Planets there huge gravitational pull, pulls a lot of the Trans-Neptunian Objects towards them and sometimes Pluto gets in the way and pulls them in first, or just collides with them. 

People also like to claim that because Pluto might have a methane atmosphere that makes it a planet, but hey, there’s this really cool place called Titan, it’s one of Saturn’s moon’s it’s really cool you should look it up, it has land masses of solid water, ice, because of how cold it is and has liquid methane oceans, BUT it has an atmosphere, that DOES NOT mean that that MOON is a PLANET. 

Pluto is not a planet, it does not meet many requirements, it is a dwarf planet, they include Ceres, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea. None of them are planets only Dwarf Planets.